Generation Z has to be on the way to the largest consumer group in the world. Their influence on the direction of today’s companies is already evident. But who exactly is Generation Z, and how do I address them? We have put together 7 measures to help you attract the attention of this young target group.
Viewed worldwide – according to Forbes in a current report– Generation Z is on the way to becoming the largest generation of buyers by 2020: They are already spending between 29 and 143 billion US dollars. It is, therefore, worthwhile for marketers to design marketing strategies for this specific target group.
4 facts about Generation Z
Generation Z (in short: Gen Z) includes, depending on the design, those born between 1998 and 2019. As the next generation of the “Millennials” (Gen Y), they now make up around a third of the world’s population.
Unlike its previous generation, Gen Z grew up fully digitized and with a smartphone in hand. As “ digital natives,” they are very familiar with social media, mobile video production, and self-expression. It is, therefore, not surprising that they have established other behaviors and values:
1. Always online
The life of Gen Z is largely virtual. There are digital alternatives in almost every area of life these days. This is also reflected in statistics on smartphone and internet usage. A study shows that adolescents spend on average more than two hours a day on social media.
2. Indecision in making decisions
With the constant availability of the Internet, it has never been easier to find information on a topic. But the targeted research is only one side of the coin: Young people are daily supplied with a veritable flood of information bombed.
Added to this is the increasing pressure to perform in our society. No wonder that 14 to 17-year-olds responded to the question of the most formative influences2nd place pressure to perform (50%), 4th place fear of the future (39%), and 5th place difficulty in making decisions (33%).
So what does this mean for marketing? Firms and brands should focus on providing a sense of security through clear recommendations and expertise, as well as limiting choices.
3. Networking with each other
Generation Z shares almost everything among themselves. The massive use of social media means that opinions, experiences, and experiences are continuously shared – this, of course, also includes recommendations for products and services.
4. Personalization & individuality
Young people want to express their individual preferences more than ever before. In this context, the magic word can be “ personalized.” Regardless of whether new sneakers or when buying a car – individuality plays a role in every consumption an important role.
These traits influence how young Gen Z people make purchasing decisions and respond to advertising. So what should be considered?
Online Marketing for Generation Z – Our Top 7 Measures
There is no such thing as “ one marketing solution” for Generation Z. However, some promising “best practices” can be derived from their values. It is worth taking another look at your marketing strategy in the light of Generation Z – and adapting it to the needs of this generation.
1. Generation goldfish – catch your target group
The attention span of a teenager is eight seconds – this is mistakenly often received with a goldfish’s attention compared. However, it is a full 4 seconds less than the previous generation.
So the first impression is crucial. “Avoiding the bush” tends to ensure that your target group will forget you. Images and videos have established themselves as media formats as they quickly convey relevant information and therefore fit perfectly into the digital world of Gen Z.
Use fast, concise, and, most importantly, memorable advertising messages.
A user must be able to clearly recognize your message after just a few seconds.
2. Social responsibility – yes, please!
Climate change, data protection, and equality are central issues for Generation Z. You only have to look at the “Fridays for Future” movement to see that this generation’s social and ecological responsibility is very important.
McKinsey’s study has shown that 80% of young people do not buy products from companies that have been involved in a social or environmental scandal. Many companies have already reacted and, for example, banned plastic bags from their range, invested in renewable energies, or increasingly supported social projects. Online shops often offer “green” shipping for a small surcharge.
Marketers should consider this fact in their strategies. But here, too, the principle of authenticity applies – don’t just convey these values, but really follow them! This way, you invest in your customers’ trust and, at the same time, strengthen your brand.
A good example of this was recently provided by large brands such as Nike or Ben & Jerry’s, which are campaigning against racism with targeted messages posed.
Show in a targeted yet authentic way that your company is socially and ecologically responsible.
3. TikTok, Instagram – Think outside the box
New generation – new possibilities. It is no longer enough just to be present on traditional marketing channels such as Facebook and Google. On the contrary! While Facebook, according to a survey by Business InsiderIts popularity among young people, is losing more and more, new channels are emerging: TikTok, Instagram are enjoying increasing popularity at Gen Z. What does the most innovative advertising message bring you if it doesn’t reach your target group?
Each of these channels offers its own possibilities and paths through which you can contact Gen Z.
Think about which channels are suitable for your messages and establish a sustainable, successful social media strategy.
Your advertising message is only successful if you are using it on the right platforms. As a small motivation: TikTok already had 800 million users at the end of 2019, of which almost 70% come from Generation Z.
Implement the “Big Five” – YouTube, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok – in your marketing mix.
4. Personalized experiences & positive emotions
With advertising campaigns like “Buy our product because it is good,” you hardly knock a young person off their feet these days. Gen Z doesn’t want to be the first to hear why the product is supposedly the best or what discounts are available.
Rather, it is important which personal advantages jump out for the consumer. Which emotions, experiences, and experiences are associated with the product?
One possibility for companies is good storytelling. This includes, on the one hand, personal, yet respectful communication with the target group and, on the other hand conveying the underlying idea because it is no longer the product itself that is decisive for Generation Z, but above all, the brand that stands behind it as an overall package.
Make your brand tangible!
Consistently convey the message associated with your product across all channels and try to create positive emotions and experiences.
5. Content is King
The crazier, the better – this is how marketers imagine the expectations of “today’s youth.” Wrong thought! Gen Z has developed its own content requirements. Young people especially prefer content in the form of short videos or infographics. Good content should be “snackable” – that is, it should be consumed quickly, entertaining, and informative.
So how do you, as a company, manage to create successful content? Well, a good option is the so-called User Generated Content (UGC).
What is User Generated Content?
User-generated content comprises all content on the web that is created by users themselves. This includes, for example, blog articles, product reviews, unboxing videos, and product features developed by customers. The image benefits of word-of-mouth communication will be known to every marketer. UGC provides exactly these advantages, with the difference that the content has now been relocated to the Internet. Above all, this includes a 2.4 times higher credibility, lower costs than regular content, and the common viral effect.
Use the advantages of good content: content that your users or customers produce themselves is particularly authentic and credible.
6. Build a community
Gen Z is digitally networked with each other more than any other generation. She continuously shares opinions, experiences, and experiences via the Internet. As a company, you can take advantage of this by specifically promoting the formation of communities in your area!
As a result, you have gathered a target group who is ready to buy and who use word-of-mouth communication to spread positive experiences with your product across the entire network and create close customer loyalty. At the same time, ideally, you will also receive honest feedback and suggestions for improvement from your community.
You can build a strong community, for example, by establishing your own #hashtags, providing communication rooms such as forums, or organizing personal meetings.
A good example is Nike. The sporting goods manufacturer has managed to build a strong community with millions of members via Instagram. On the one hand, Nike uses a highly personalized message for better customer identification and, on the other hand, targeted hashtags such as #justdoit.
7. Don’t try too hard!
Perhaps the biggest mistake in communication is that adults try desperately to imitate youth language.
Communicating with Gen Z on a humorous level is extremely difficult for non-Gen Z members. Youth language is fast-moving and peppered with hidden allusions.
With YOLO (an acronym for “you only live once”), you can only get tired laughs today. Many companies have failed with their campaigns because they tried to impress their young target group with supposedly “cool” hashtags, memes, or pictures. Unfortunately, this only works in the rarest of cases. Many amusing examples can be found on the Internet find from brands who probably meant it a little too well with their attempts.
The magic word here is authenticity. Pay attention to the current trends, create understandable and entertaining content, and concentrate on conveying your values.
Don’t overdo it – stick to authentic communication and comprehensible content.
What should you do now?
See the above best practices as a useful addition to your previous marketing. Which measures are suitable for you and which suit your company or product?
It is important to convey a consistent and coherent image of your company to your target group. Don’t fall into blind action, but think about which tips are useful for your industry and your product.
If you are unsure, test various measures and later evaluate whether you have reached the desired target group with your new strategy. Almost every common analysis and marketing tool offers the option to sort the traffic by age group. This makes it easy to see whether your measures have worked with the desired target group.
If you keep these things in mind, nothing should stand in the way of your success in Generation Z.
Do you need support in brainstorming or evaluating your marketing strategy? Please contact us!